Why TouchBistro switched to Pendo to drive their mobile onboarding strategy
There are a multitude of tasks involved in running a successful restaurant—from point of sale (POS) to staff management to keeping track of orders, inventory, and menus. TouchBistro, a Toronto-based all-in-one restaurant management system, helps make every aspect of owning and operating a restaurant easier, so restaurateurs can focus on what they love most: serving delicious meals and delivering an exceptional experience.
TouchBistro began as a tablet-native POS system to help restaurants manage their in-venue operations. But since their founding in 2010, they’ve expanded their platform to provide a complete suite of restaurant management solutions, including payment processing, table and tip management, reservations, online ordering, loyalty and gift cards, and reporting.
“We started off with an iPad POS system that was ahead of its time in many ways,” said Jeremy List, director of product at TouchBistro. “The company is [now] transitioning to be more of a restaurant platform. And ultimately our mission is to take the burden of running a restaurant off the restaurateur.”
As the TouchBistro platform became increasingly more robust, List and his team recognized the need to provide more contextual and targeted guidance to help users get onboarded and working in both their mobile and web apps more quickly.
Replacing WalkMe with Pendo in-app guides
At first, the TouchBistro team chose WalkMe to deliver in-app guidance, but ultimately struggled to fully implement the tool or get to a place where their team could use and glean value from it. In late 2021, List and his team decided to review their options and find an in-app guidance solution that would work seamlessly with their required codebases—and ultimately decided to make the switch to Pendo.
List explained that he felt confident in Pendo’s ability to help him achieve his goals—even right out of the box. “We had a lot of comfort and [a great sense of] partnership with the Pendo team, and knew they would be there to work through our use cases with us,” he said. Another big driver in the decision to switch from WalkMe to Pendo was Pendo’s ability to deliver immediate value. “I could see things working for us right off the shelf, like the Resource Center.”
List and his team were also drawn to Pendo’s ease of use, and felt it was a far more intuitive tool for his team to learn. Plus, Pendo’s monthly active user (MAU) pricing model was better suited to the reality of how restaurant managers and staff engage with TouchBistro throughout their day.
Finally, List and his team were drawn to Pendo’s platform approach. “The ability to simply walk users through steps wasn’t the most important thing for us,” List explained. He wanted the ability to dynamically segment various cohorts of customers and users to better target them with in-app guidance and relevant information to help them get more value from TouchBistro—and Pendo delivered. “We felt that the Pendo package was a better fit for all of our use cases, and wasn’t as focused on ‘do this, then this, then this,’” List said.
From onboarding to ongoing support
Pendo’s ability to help users effectively navigate the onboarding process—leveraging functionality like in-app guides and the Resource Center—across both web and mobile was another key draw for the TouchBistro team.
“We need to understand who’s coming into our apps,” List explained. “With TouchBistro, it’s not like customers just put in their information and they’re ready to go—we need to verify their information, we need to ship them hardware, there’s training that needs to happen. It’s a pretty significant onboarding process.” With Pendo, List and his team now have a variety of ways to engage and enable customers throughout their onboarding journey—and beyond.
List is also eager to leverage Pendo to quickly deliver feature announcements and important product updates to targeted cohorts of users.
As TouchBistro continues to migrate much of the platform’s administrative functionality from their tablet-based app into a cloud interface, they need a way to communicate these changes with customers. “We were leveraging our development team to build out these messages, which was just distracting them,” List said. But now with Pendo, List and his team can deploy timely in-app announcements on their own—without the need for any additional engineering support.
Finally, List noted that Pendo’s ability to guide users within the TouchBistro app—without requiring customers to leave whenever they have questions or need additional support—was critical in their decision to shift from WalkMe to Pendo.
“Customers will often call and ask if we have help articles or supporting material—but who wants to click a link and go somewhere else and feel disoriented?” List said. “Having the ability to put that information in front of the customer [with guides and tooltips] and not require our dev team to do any of it is pretty exciting for our team.”
Tools for the entire TouchBistro team
Since transitioning from WalkMe to Pendo, there’s been widespread excitement for the possibilities of Pendo across the entire TouchBistro organization.
“There seems to be genuine excitement across the organization that we have these tools available to us now,” said List. “There is awareness across the organization, and all the product managers around me are saying, ‘Hey, create me an account—I want to start thinking about [how to use Pendo for] some things.”
List is eager to see how Pendo will reduce the amount of time TouchBistro’s customer success (CS) team needs to spend on responding to resource requests—as well as an overall reduction in support call volume.
And in the immediate future, List noted that he’s eager to leverage Pendo to improve onboarding and enablement for TouchBistro’s menu management feature. “For a restaurant, creating a menu can be complicated—but it’s one of the most important things we do. [With Pendo], we’re looking to understand where customers are struggling and be able to pull in relevant contextual help,” he said. “I think we’re going to have some really big wins.”